Relieve your summer body confidence woes
Summer body confidence issues are something almost all women have and a substantial percentage of men.
Around 40% of men don’t like their weight, and 85% are unhappy with their muscles. For women, only 23% feel confident about their bodies.
But don’t worry because there are many ways to accept yourself and feel better. From making healthier decisions to being kind to yourself and everything in between, here are some major tips for better confidence.
Make small changes
Summer is the season when everyone wants to look their best because we are generally outside more and doing more things. Just changing one small thing about yourself can have massive boosts to your self-esteem.
For instance, if you are one of the 50% of people who don’t like their teeth, visiting a cosmetic dentist for minor work can have a dramatically positive impact. Other options include a new hairstyle, trying different makeup and changing wardrobe.
Look after yourself
You have probably heard this a thousand times, but some physical self-healing by getting healthier can make a huge difference. When you look good, you feel good, and when you feel good, you feel more confident. Fortunately, it’s not even that hard to do, but it takes dedication:
- Learn to cook for yourself and do away with pre-prepared and processed foods.
- Start counting how many calories you eat and aim for 1,500 per day.
- Begin some light exercises such as brisk walking, jogging and stretching.
- Don’t stay inside, and get at least 15 minutes of sun each day for vitamin D.
None of these are hard to do, but you may struggle with eating less at first. Using all of them will result in a dramatic increase in positivity over time, as well as the obvious benefits such as weight loss and energy gain. Just ditching sugar and fat will make you feel much better.
Better summer body confidence offline
Nothing good can come from using social media and online magazines when you are trying to feel better about yourself. Any of these promote unattainable body types and actively put down men and women who don’t fit into their perceived image of what these should be.
Consuming bad content like this will only make you feel that you aren’t good enough when the truth is there is nothing wrong with you. It will also help to stop following toxic social media influencers.
Learn to let go of negativity
Like social media and going online, there are many things that can negatively influence you, and this includes your own thoughts. As a child, you had tons of confidence before becoming self-conscious at puberty, where that confidence gets lost due to negativity about yourself.
But you can recover and remember that confidence. Some methods include exploring your talents, remembering the good things people say about you, and small compliments that make your day.
Rewire your way of thinking
There are many bad habits in life. Smoking, drinking and a sedentary lifestyle are among them. Bad thoughts are also a bad habits, and you can change them. Thinking badly about yourself gets worse over time, to the point where you believe those thoughts and make them a reality.
This is a self-fulfilling prophecy. Yet you can change this. The first step is to be mindful of negative thoughts and shut them down immediately and replace them with thoughts you enjoy.
Accept what you cannot change
Self-acceptance is key. There is a reason why The 12 Steps program uses the guidance “help me learn to accept the things I cannot change”. The reason is that you waste time and energy dwelling on these because there is nothing you can do.
When it comes to your body and confidence, there are things you can’t change. Your skin colour is a perfect example. Sure, you can get a tan or use lighteners. But would it not be best to learn to love the skin you’re in?
Engage visualisation methods
You’ve probably heard of visualisation quite a lot, especially if you have ever read a women’s magazine, self-help books or wellness blogs. There are many reasons why this works, including seeing yourself as you would like to be. There are also various useful methods you can use.
This is when you imagine the end result of what you want to achieve by seeing it, feeling it and experiencing it as if it were real. The law of attraction and The Secret are perfect examples.
Through an ongoing process, you spend some time each day imagining the steps you need to take towards manifestation. This can help clarify what you need to do and make it happen.
The five steps to visualisation
- Write what it is you want each day and try to engage a different sense each time.
- Try to feel emotionally attached to the desired image you are projecting.
- From processed goals, try to take one step towards the end goal every day.
- Immerse yourself in your goal by learning more about it for easier clarification.
- Aim to practise your visualisation method for 10 minutes at least twice per day.
Just closing your eyes and imagining something you want to achieve can be a powerful thing. It can change your fortune, help you achieve goals and accept yourself. Imagine yourself with a weight loss goal, for example, and how that would make you feel and benefit your life.
Be nice to others
When you are thinking within your own head with a negative internal voice, it is often not your own but that of someone criticising you. This voice can bring you down, only to have real consequences such as taking out on others. This makes you look insecure and won’t do you any good socially. As a result, your confidence in yourself plummets. When you begin to hear those bad thoughts, imagine how it would look to say them to a child. Not good at all, is it?
Become aware of your thoughts
Self-awareness is a great way to monitor your own thoughts and can help prevent some of the worst from creeping in and ruining your day. Being aware means you can take note of what caused these thoughts to manifest, and with that, you can learn to spot them more easily.
You can also then work towards avoiding specific situations or topics that allow self-doubt to cause low confidence. Counteract each negative thought with a positive one that you really like.
Be grateful for what you have
There are many unrealistic images of what a body should look like, but your own body is fine the way it is. Most of us view our bodies purely on looks, but what about health? Being overweight or not looking the way you would like doesn’t mean you are unhealthy. Gratitude for what you are and who you are is a great way to become more confident with what you have. We all have parts we don’t like, so accentuate what you like about yourself and be happy about your health.
Mirror work for summer body confidence
This method of literal reflection might seem a bit odd at first, but it is a recommended method for feeling more confident. Mirror work is the technique of sitting in front of a mirror and staring at yourself.
Look into your eyes and then work outward to the rest of your face and then your body. Really look at yourself and pick out the things you like. Push any negative thoughts away and only focus on the positive. This helps you see past what you regard as your imperfections.
Go easy on yourself
It will be hard to feel more confident when you first try, but nothing worth doing is easy. You may have been putting yourself down for years, and this is hard to undo. But it isn’t possible to gradually begin thinking about yourself in a more compassionate way. Try these methods:
- Look at your body and think about the good things it does for you.
- List the top five favourite things you like about your body.
- Have fun trying different looks to get a sense of what you like.
- See your positive traits and looks as you think others will see you.
Most of us are too hard on ourselves most of the time. It can get so bad that we forget about the great things we like about ourselves and only see the negative. The brain is wired to easily do this. But you can rewire it to form stinger connections with positive affirmations rather than bad.
Reflection for change
Self-reflection is a great step towards trying to understand why you don’t feel confident. Deep inside your mind, there could be negative thoughts, a broken belief system and trauma. Just ask yourself why you feel the way you do.
This is the key to the beginning of helping yourself feel better about who you are and how you look and feel. You might feel like you hate your body right now, but by working with yourself as outlined, why can’t you begin to love it just as much?
Small changes can boost your summer body confidence
Small changes such as cosmetics and hairstyles can help boost your summer body confidence. But actionable changes work best for long-term changes that help you love it. These include replacing negativity with positivity, visualisation, and internal and external self-reflection.
Photo by Yoann Boyer